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HLTH 235: Food Systems


The Library subscribes to a large number of e-book packages.

There are many different ways to find e-books at Queen's. Most collections have individual book records in Omni, and you can refine your search results in Omni to e-books by using the books/ebooks filter under Resource Type.

You can also search e-book collections directly through searching through the Database page.

Finding Books

A good way to start your research is to search for books, book chapters and eBooks on your research topic.

Search Omni to find books (and other materials) owned by the library.  You may search by topic using keywords, author, title, or subject headings. 

Use the filters in Omni to refine your search results, by format (e.g. books & eBooks). The filters are located along the left-hand side of the search results screen.

Basic Search Tips

The default search in Omni is simple or Basic Search.

  • To find information about a topic, use a keyword search.
  • Enter one or more of your topic keywords into the Omni search box. 
  • Basic search supports the use of Boolean operators: AND, OR or NOT. They must be entered in uppercase.

AND is used to combine keywords representing different concepts. Using AND ensures that all search terms are present in the results. 

  • For example: "Covid-19" AND "food systems" 

OR is used to combine related/synonymous keywords. 

  • For example: agroecology OR agri-environmental

To search for a specific phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase.  

  • For example: "food systems"

Truncation is the process of adding an asterisk '*' to the end of a root word to get different variations on the word.

  • For example: environment* for environments, environmental

Use brackets to group terms. When you have more than on Boolean operator in a search statement, it is necessary to separate them with brackets. Operators enclosed in the brackets are performed first followed by the operators outside of the brackets.

  • For example: ("climate change" OR "climate crisis" OR "climate chaos") AND "food systems"

Once you have your initial search results, you may want to narrow or broaden your search. 

Narrow or refine your search by:

  • Adding other terms using AND
  • Adding a geographic region, date, population group
  • For example: Indigenous AND "food sovereignty" AND "northern Ontario"

Broaden your search results by using OR between similar terms.

  • For example: Covid-19 OR coronavirus OR pandemic

Search Example:

*Please note that the default search in Omni includes the holdings of Queen's University Library AND the physical holdings of our Omni partner libraries in Ontario.

Modify Your Results

You can Modify your search results by using the Filters list on the left side of the search screen. 

Modify your results by Resource Type. For example, limit your search to Books & eBooks.

Advanced Search

Use the Advanced Search option for more precise searching.

Using the drop-down options within the Advanced Search screen you can limit your search to specific fields and/or a combination of fields (Author, Title, Subject, Call number). You can also specify that your search words must be contained in the search field ("contains", "contains exact phrase" or "starts with."  Modify by Resource Type.

For example:


Subject Headings

When you find relevant results, note the subject headings assigned. Refining your search using the same subject heading terminology may yield more precise results. 

If you are unsure of the correct subject heading(s) for your topic:

  1. Conduct a Keyword Boolean.
  2. Search using the Subject Headings you find in your keyword search results for additional items on the same topic. 

You can also do subject searches (using subject headings) in the Advanced Search page in Omni.

Some useful headings for this course:

  • Agriculture biotechnology
  • Food security -- Canada
  • Food supply - Moral and ethical aspects
  • Food Systems
  • Indigenous peoples -- Food -- Canada
  • Indigenous crops
  • Migrant Workers